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Les Murray : A Life in Progress
Les Murray : A Life in Progress
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Author(s): Alexander, Peter F.
ISBN No.: 9780374113100
Pages: 289
Year: 209901
Format: Trade Cloth (Hard Cover)
Price: £27.43
Status: Out Of Print (Not available from Oakleaf Books)

From the publication of his first book in 1965, Les Murray has been the central figure in Australian literature. Scholars have faulted his proposals for an Australian canon; writers have bristled after receiving his brisk critiques of their work on the backs of postcards; feminists have scolded him for his traditional views on religion and morality. Yet when Murray, already mired in depression -- "the black dog", he calls it -- suffered a stroke and fell into a coma, the whole nation awaited news of his recovery.Peter F. Alexander reveals in this eloquent biography the source and stimulus for Murray's poetry, a life that has been, from the beginning, an alternating sequence of exhilaration and calamity. His mother died of injuries sustained when she gave birth to him; his father, a farmer, withdrew into grief, in some ways neglecting his young son. Even so, by the time Murray reached university in Sydney he was recognized as an odd genius. He could not add -- he remains practically innumerate -- but could learn languages overnight and wrote stunning poetry.

Though prone to depression, which led him to live hand-to-mouth for long stretches, he gathered many friends around him, married a beautiful Italian expatriate, and fathered four children, one stricken with autism. Les Murray: A Life in Progress tells the fascinating story of the lifework of a beloved poet.

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